Two Warminster men with very similar career backgrounds as infantry soldiers have been honoured for their dedicated service to Wiltshire Army Cadet Force.
Major Alan Johnston, aged 65, who served 22 years in the Royal Green Jackets, and 50-year-old Warrant Officer Richard Helmn, a veteran of 24 years in the Green Howards, were presented with the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire’s Certificate of Meritorious Service during ceremonies at Devizes Town Hall.
After his Regular Army service, Alan, now a self-employed off-licensee, became a Royal Corps of Signals Captain in the Territorial Army.
His long connection with the Cadets began as a Detachment Commander in 2000 and it is reckoned that more than 1,000 youngsters have benefited from his training.
“Children these days will often say they have nothing to do – well, the ACF provides a huge range of activities,” he says. “Importantly, too, it plays a big role in giving them self-respect, respect for others and discipline.”
Richard, a training safety adviser, carries out a similar role with Wiltshire ACF, which he joined in 2001. He also provides support for seven Combined Cadet Force units in Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset.
A third member of Wiltshire ACF, Sergeant Major Instructor Beverley Cubbon, of Abbey Meads, Swindon, was similarly honoured by the Lord-Lieutenant for her leadership and fund-raising efforts. She is also county BTEC Officer, guiding and encouraging cadets through the public service award system.
The trio were awarded certificates for Meritorious Service by Wiltshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Sarah Troughton, at a special awards ceremony in Devizes.
If you are interested in becoming an Adult Instructor with the Cadets, visit www.wessex-rfca.org.uk/cadets/adult-instructor/